One of ZTE's latest tablets, the V96, was announced at Barcelona for MWC but never made any official appearances at the show. Fortunately we found the new device hiding in the manufacturer's booth at CTIA. The Ice Cream Sandwich device runs a Qualcomm 1.7GHz MSM8960 dual-core Krait processor with 1GB of RAM and sports tri-band 42Mbps HSPA+ and quad-band LTE. ZTE mentioned that it is compatible with four LTE bands (!), including AT&T's flavors -- Verizon's band of next-gen connectivity, unfortunately, was not included on the list.
Interestingly enough, we discovered that there was not one but two models being showcased: the first, seen in the video below, has a textured back and is flanked by soft-touch plastic at both ends. Its fraternal twin, however, opted for a smooth aluminum construct on the back. We were torn in which one we liked more -- we loved the lighter and more grippy material provided by the first, yet we enjoyed the silver look of the second. When we inquired as to whether these two versions are destined for different regions, ZTE reps were tight-lipped; availability and pricing are still completely unknown at this time. Head below for a full gallery, video and a few more impressions.
The V96 also takes advantage of a 10.1-inch QXGA (1,280 x 800) display, which translates to a pixel density of 149ppi. Sadly, this means that you'll see the pixels without a large amount of effort -- squinting or getting up to the screen. As you might expect, the panel was also incredibly glossy, making fingerprints and reflections highly visible. It also offers a 5MP camera on the back and a 2MP shooter for video chatting on the front, and you can find slots for the microSD and full-sized SIM card on top, opposite the volume rocker and power button. Aside from the Krait chipset, we're not seeing a whole lot of tantalizing reasons to go with the V96 over any other Android 4.0 tablet of the same size, but we're hoping that its price tag will be the major differentiator over its competition.
Terrence O'Brien contributed to this post.